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Turkish Press Review, 07-01-24

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

24.01.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES IRAQ IN CLOSED SESSION
  • [02] POLISH PRESIDENT VISITS TURKEY
  • [03] ERDOGAN, PRODI OPEN MT. BOLU TUNNEL
  • [04] GONUL TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON
  • [05] HEAVY ITINERARY FOR FM GUL
  • [06] THOUSANDS BID FAREWELL TO DINK
  • [07] IN TRNC, GEN. BASBUG MEETS WITH DENKTAS
  • [08] IF WE CAN'T STOP RACISM

  • [01] PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES IRAQ IN CLOSED SESSION

    Parliament yesterday held a closed session to discuss recent developments in Iraq. The session was chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Addressing the assembled deputies, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu criticized the government's stance on the issue. Later, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul responded to the criticisms and briefed the deputies on recent developments. During the session, it was reportedly stressed that Ankara should be determined to help preserve Iraq's territorial integrity and that launching a military operation on Kirkuk would be adventurism. In related news, in response to Parliament's extraordinary session to discuss Iraq, the local Kurdishp in northern Iraq yesterday called for an emergency session on Turkey. /Star/

    [02] POLISH PRESIDENT VISITS TURKEY

    Polish President Lech Kaczynski yesterday arrived in Ankara to pay an official visit. After meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the two leaders signed a joint declaration in a bid to develop bilateral ties. Speaking to the press, Sezer said that Poland and Turkey had close relations during the past and that the country was a reliable member of European and Atlantic institutions. For his part, Kaczynski said that they had agreed to further strengthen ties and that he lent full support to Turkey's European Union membership bid. In the evening, Sezer hosted a dinner in the honor of his Polish counterpart along with his wife. /Hurriyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN, PRODI OPEN MT. BOLU TUNNEL

    In a ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi opened the first part of the new Mt. Bolu Tunnel. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan said that the people had come together for an historic event, adding that the government had fulfilled a dream of the nation. "We're happy to make the nation's dreams come true," he said. Erdogan further stressed that the tunnel shouldn't be considered a mere road connecting Ankara and Istanbul, but an effort to raise Turkey's level of civilization and a symbol of ties between Rome and Ankara. The price tag of the tunnel is some $900 million. Later, Erdogan and Prodi attended a meeting of the Italian-Turkish Strategic Economic Alliance. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan said that there were no political problems between Italy and Turkey, nor were there any military or economic problems. Erdogan added that solidarity between the two countries would rise if Turkish and Italian companies were to invest together in third countries. /Milliyet/

    [04] GONUL TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON

    Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, accompanied by a delegation, will travel to the US today to pay an official visit. Tomorrow Gonul is expected to attend a signing ceremony for a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Project at the Pentagon, and on Friday he is scheduled to have talks with his US counterpart Robert Gates. After completing his contacts, Gonul will return to Turkey on Monday. /Turkiye/

    [05] HEAVY ITINERARY FOR FM GUL

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to Paris this evening to attend a conference tomorrow to lend support to the reconstruction of Lebanon. Then, after completing his contacts in Paris, Gul will proceed to Brussels to represent Turkey at a NATO meeting. Twenty-six NATO member states' foreign ministers are expected to discuss the Afghanistan and Kosovo issues. Afterwards, Gul, accompanied by State Economy Minister Ali Babacan, will depart for Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. In addition, he is expected to hold bilateral talks with several of his counterparts. The foreign minister will continue his busy itinerary next month as well. In the second week of February, Gul is scheduled to travel to the US to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to exchange views on Iraq and Kirkuk as well as the Mideast in general. /Turkiye/

    [06] THOUSANDS BID FAREWELL TO DINK

    Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish journalist of Armenian descent who was murdered in Istanbul last Friday, was laid to rest yesterday after a funeral procession attended by thousands. Speaking at the ceremony, Dink's widow Rakel said that her husband had been separated from his family, but not from his country. "We'll say farewell to Dink without showing disrespect to anyone, without signs or slogans," said Rakel Dink. Delivering Dink's eulogy, Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Mesrob II said that Dink was an Armenian citizen of the Turkish Republic and had struggled throughout his life with this status. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Dink's family to express his condolences. /Sabah/

    [07] IN TRNC, GEN. BASBUG MEETS WITH DENKTAS

    Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug, currently in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), yesterday met with former TRNC President Rauf Denktas. During their meeting, Denktas criticized the European Union and the Greek Cypriot administration, saying that the Greek Cypriots refused agreements based on the reality of two equal states. "We're trying to issue necessary warnings, but Basbug's visit is the biggest such warning," said Denktas. For his part, Basbug said that a just solution under UN auspices should be found on the island, adding that the goal of the Turkish nation was to strengthen the TRNC. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [08] IF WE CAN'T STOP RACISM

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the funeral of Hrant Dink, a famous Turkish journalist of Armenian descent who was murdered last Friday. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Firstly, I must say it that the Turkish nation showed its stance on this heinous murder in the way it should. Our nation gave an important and meaningful message to the world. A funeral was held for Hrant Dink with the tears of tens of thousands of people. This picture, which was incredibly beautiful but also full of sadness, was the indication of a meaningful and determined stance against the mentality of this slaying. No matter what the fanatics do, the Turkish and Armenian nations will neither become enemies nor hate each other, but love each other, because these two nations, the product of the same lands, have shared the same fate for many centuries. What's more important, they have been in the same culture and experienced the same sufferings. Even Armenian fanatics who killed our diplomats couldn't succeed in bringing these two nations at odds with each other. Fanatical racists who have betrayed their forebears' tradition of tolerance won't succeed in this either. These two nations will continue to love each other.

    The aspect of Dink's murder which should give us the most pause is the alarming situation in Trabzon. At this point, the negligence of the police in Trabzon is huge. Those who turned this beautiful city into a haven for murderers have been left unchecked. In 2004 Yasin Hayal bombed a McDonald's and injured six people. He was trained in bombings in Chechnya, in turn gave training to very young people with instructions from elsewhere, then put guns in their hands and directed them to commit murder. Hayal formed and administered this cell in Trabzon, and how could he be left to roam free when he had committed numerous crimes? Nobody was even curious about his links.

    What have Trabzon's governor, police chief and gendarmerie commander done all these years? How could they ignore what's been happening in the city? The country's rulers must think about this seriously. Actually remarks made by Hayal's father give clues that there are certain people behind this cell. ‘We're poor people,' he said. ‘Yasin even didn't own a cell phone. How could he find the money for a gun and give it to someone?' As I've written before, security forces made the murder of a priest in Trabzon seem a simple matter and closed the case. If they could have reached the people behind this incident, maybe Dink would still be alive now. Unfortunately, certain people with titles share the same dangerous understanding. If we cannot expunge this understanding from the security forces, we can never end these murders that damage our country."


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